Downtown Arts Festival 2014

We’re always happy to be giant birds for a good cause. This year at the annual Gainesville Downtown Arts Festival, that cause was free family entertainment with Rainbow Tiger Circus. Bird puppet by Lynn Polke, manatee puppet by our own Dan Ballard, operated by local performer Rachel Ray.

Did you see us? Leave a comment below! We love to hear from festival-goers.

See a video of Rainbow Tiger Circus’ work on YouTube.

“Lessons Learned” and “Handmade Puppet Dreams” at the Hippodrome Cinema, with our 4th Annual Puppet Slam

lessons-learnedTonight was a magical night at the Cinema of the Hippodrome Theatre. DolphinWizard Co hosted a showing of Ibex Puppetry’s “Handmade Puppet Dreams” Volume VI, followed by an exclusive showing of Toby Froud‘s limited-release film “Lessons Learned.” The event was ushered by puppet street performers from the Santa Fe College Theatre Department, courtesy of Gainesville luminary Gregg Jones, and concluded with a puppet slam featuring “Let It Out” from “Fartzen” and Dan’s “Juggs the Juggler” routine.

From "Lessons Learned" (2014)

From “Lessons Learned” (2014)

“Lessons Learned” is the directorial debut of Toby Fraud, aka the baby in “Labyrinth” and the son of renowned character designer Brian Froud, of “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” and “Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book.”

Handmade Puppet Dreams is a series of puppet films produced by Ibex Puppetry, the company of Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson. Ibex’s mission is to promote health & healing for the planet through the fine art of puppetry. In Handmade Puppet Dreams films, gifted puppeteers’ imaginings are made incarnate, with the help of talented performers such as Christopher Lloyd and Elijah Wood.

With this event, Gainesville is now the 3rd city in Florida to host a Handmade Puppet Dreams showing, and the first to show Volume VI!

Photo by Laura Gross.

Photo by Laura Gross.

We had 42 puppet fans in the house, who applauded after every film! Our mysterious ushers worked the streets of downtown Gainesville to bring people into the theatre. We were thrilled to see such a positive response to puppet films in our community, and celebrated our 4th puppet slam, an annual event which Dan Ballard has curated every year.

DolphinWizard Toys Hit the Market!

Packaging design by Derek M. Ballard, Toys designed and made by Daniel T. Ballard

Packaging design by Derek M. Ballard, Toys designed and made by Daniel T. Ballard

We are thrilled to announce that tonight our kaiju toys have been released as the Ghoulanoids, with a tie-in comic published by Sacred Prism.

According to designer Daniel T. Ballard, “The Ghoulanoids are 80s-throwback mini critter-creatures based on the mini-monster movie subgenre, Saturday morning cartoons.” The name is a portmanteau of the titles of “Ghoulies” the movie and “Inhumanoids” the TV show.

The comic, also called Ghoulanoids, is written by Stephen McClurg, a comic, children’s book author and haiku poet, among other things, and illustrated by Derek Ballard, Daniel’s brother, who works on “Adventure Time.” Check out Stephen’s writeups about Ghoulanoids here and here. He says,

Ghoulanoids will be a comic packaged with toys and published by Sacred Prism this fall. We’re early in the process, but our inspiration is most obviously from ‘80s toy lines and films like Critters and Phantasm. We hope to do something unique and fun with those flavors. That “we” is Daniel and Derek Ballard and me. I know the creators and the publisher are excited, I hope our readers will be. Did I mention that Daniel makes puppets and works with Heather Henson sometimes? Yeah, of THAT Henson family. Did I mention that Derek has his own comic book series and works on Adventure Time?

The toys are currently available via PayPal at this link. We’ll let you know as soon as we have our online shop up!

DolphinWizard Co Brings Puppet Film Fest to Gainesville

HMPD posterDolphin Wizard Puppetry and Toys is pleased to announce that we will be hosting Ibex Puppetry’s “Handmade Puppet Dreams” series on Tues. Sept. 30 at the Hippodrome Theatre, with a special screening of the new film “Lessons Learned.”

Handmade Puppet Dreams is a series of puppet films produced by Ibex Puppetry, the company of Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson. Ibex’s mission is to promote health & healing for the planet through the fine art of puppetry. In Handmade Puppet Dreams films, gifted puppeteers’  imaginings are made incarnate, with the help of talented performers such as Christopher Lloyd and Elijah Wood.

Lessons Learned“Lessons Learned” is the directorial debut of Toby Fraud, aka the baby in “Labyrinth” and the son of renowned character designer Brian Froud, of “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” and “Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book.”

The film fest is Tues. Sept. 30 at 7:30, in the Hippodrome Cinema on the first floor of the Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE 2nd Place, in downtown Gainesville. Tickets are $10 at door, $8 if purchased in the week prior, or $6 if you order now! Students, educators, and military get $1 off.

We are proud to present Ibex Puppetry’s “Lessons Learned” and the latest volume of the “Handmade Puppet Dreams” series in a celebration of the fine arts of puppetry and moviemaking. With our efforts, Gainesville is now the 3rd city in Florida to host a Handmade Puppet Dreams showing.

DolphinWizard Co Represented in Local Business Fest

Labor DazeWe were proud to be included in the Repurpose Project‘s booth at Labor Daze Fest, an annual festival celebrating local businesses and independent artists in downtown Gainesville, again in the beautiful Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Since we use many recycled and repurposed materials, we were pleased to represent the level of extraordinary artwork that can emerge from “trash.”

We delighted many children with our handmade leash puppets of dragons, gators, and dinosaurs, and connected with several folks about our upcoming shows. Stay tuned!

A Menagerie at the Farmers Market

Our first month at the Union Street Farmers Market at Bo Diddley Community Plaza has been fun! We’ve been introducing some new creatures, including dragons and dinosaurs. We’ve already been able to entertain quite a few adorable children, and have sated some adults’ Game of Thrones fandom. We’re located on the west side of the lawn as you approach the stage, every Wednesday 7 to 10pm!

Geek Out Asheville Puppetry Workshop

Dolphin Wizard Co will be featured at GeekOut Asheville, the pop culture convention, which has a strong puppetry track and an educational bent.

Check out Dan’s listing among the official guests; he’ll be teaching a workshop on how to create puppets from repurposed materials—as that’s what we do!

We’ll also be performing in the Puppet Slam, featuring a new piece written by Daniel T. Ballard with a new puppet constructed in 7 days (yes, really), with special music guest Rachel Wayne. Here’s a hint as to the topic.
fartzen

Ibex’s Show “Flight” Takes the High Tech Award!

Dan repairs a rod puppet for a frog character.

Dan repairs a rod puppet for a frog character.


Dan assisted in repair and engineering of puppets for Ibex Puppetry‘s show “Flight” at the Orlando Fringe Festival. The show played several times to great audiences, and took home the High Tech Award at the end of the fest, for its incredible kites, rod puppets, bodysuits, costumes, and projections.
Dan repairs the "adolescent" puppet for Awaken, the main character.

Dan repairs the “adolescent” puppet for Awaken, the main character.


Dolphin Wizard Co congratulates Ibex Puppetry on their win, and is proud to have assisted on this excellent show!

DolphinWizard Co in the Papers!


It’s been an exciting week at DolphinWizard Co. This week our DBA announcement ran, and we are also officially registered at sunbiz.org as DolphinWizard Puppetry and Toys. Now we’ll be ready for the downtown farmer’s market (our cycle begins in two weeks), and our business arrangements with you will be streamlined.

Also, our puppetmaster Dan was featured in the Gainesville Sun! Thank you Alexa Volland for the amazing coverage!

For Ballard, an eccentric personality with a handlebar mustache, nothing is off limits when it comes to his puppets. His characters, often socially provocative and politically incorrect, range from sexually active hamburgers and adorable pandas that poop frosting to Nazi spies running meth labs.

Edited to add photo.